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In Ethiopia, obtaining government services often requires patience and time. The documentation needed for tasks such as opening a business, obtaining construction permits, and acquiring a passport in Ethiopia is not straightforward. Moreover, the lack of knowledge and up-to-date information on these processes often forces many to rely on individuals who have previously navigated them.

In 2020, it took an average of 32 days to complete the registration and licensing of a business in Ethiopia, ranking the country 159th among 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report. Confusion about which bureau to visit next, which copies to make, and which stamps are needed are common during these processes.

Recognizing this complexity, a new startup called Kezyas is tackling this challenge head-on. Their mission: to simplify the processes encountered when dealing with government and private institutions in Ethiopia. Keyzas aims to streamline this information, making it easily accessible via their platform.

Keyzas, an Amharic term meaning “what is next,” was launched this year. The platform currently hosts close to a hundred guides. Founded by Abreham Tekeste, a recent graduate in computer science from St. Mary University, and his friend Abenezer Mearegu, who holds a B.A. in computer science from Unity University, Keyzas provides information in a step-by-step, how-to format.

“The idea occurred to me when a friend struggled to authenticate documents for a scholarship, wasting time and money visiting various government offices due to a lack of precise information,” explained Abreham Tekeste, co-founder and CEO of Keyzas.

“It took us two months to develop the platform,” added the CEO.

The platform offers guidance on various procedures, including obtaining a commercial license, paying tax, and acquiring trademark rights. However, Keyzas doesn’t limit its scope to government services; it also includes procedures in the private sector, such as applying for scholarships and registering for RIDE.

“I went to every office door to door to obtain precise information,” states Abreham. Keyzas also utilizes information from official government portals.

“We currently have information from over 70 government offices and over 25 offices in the private sector,” Abreham added.

The co-founder informed Shega that the platform offers information for free but charges for the “Guday Geday” option, which provides additional assistance. “We have assembled a team of 15 individuals with diverse skills and connections to various government and private offices to handle clients’ tasks and expedite their processes,” he explained. Representatives assigned to clients’ cases are chosen based on their experience and connections. As a test, they are given a task to gauge their performance and efficiency.

“Our business model involves taking a ten percent commission from the total fee for the case handlers. If the case exceeds the listed platform price, negotiations occur between the handlers and clients, with us serving as intermediaries,” Abreham elaborated.

Abreham and Abenezer took Keyzas to a pitch competition at ALX this year, where they secured third place.

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Daniel, a writer and radio host, has a keen interest in technology. Additionally, he has supported various organizations by enhancing their digital presence in his role as a social media manager.